one fit widow

Say Their Name

He was one of the most important parts of my life for more than fifteen years.

We traveled, we explored, we lived and loved.

He made me his wife, and I made him my husband.

We welcome two beautiful kids into the world, built a house and lived our dream.

He held my hand when I cried, and he kissed me softly every morning.

It wasn't just him, it was us, and it was supposed to be forever.

It wasn't.

In fact, he was gone too young and with so much to live for.

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The day he died I was surrounded with love, affection for myself, my kids and for him. I don't remember much of the love; shock takes hold of your body and doesn't let it go for a long time, but it was there unconditionally.

He lived an inspired life and people spent the week talking about him, his big smile, his love of adventure and the depths of his love for his family. The words said were like a salve for my aching soul. Each story shared provided a small band-aid for my bleeding heart and felt like the most beautiful music to my ears. We smiled, we laughed, we cried, and we realized just how deeply he had impacted all of our lives. It was beautiful, and I needed to last for eternity.

It didn't.

People left, they went back to their lives and as quickly as he had passed, they all stopped saying his name to me, his parents and our children.

At first, it made me sad to think that they stopped talking about him, that perhaps they didn't care or they didn't realize how badly I needed to hear his name. I figured they just didn't know, so I told them, again and again, to talk about him, but they demanded they didn't want to upset me, remind me, or hurt me. I kept reassuring them it was okay, nothing could make me forget, and each time his name was spoken it was like a little piece of him was still alive in all our lives. Regardless, over time, his name slowly started to disappear from the vocabulary of his closest friends and family. Not everyone stopped, and for that I'm thankful, but the cries of memory eternal faded in front of my eyes and it ripped at my already broken and fragile heart.

When you stop saying their name to protect us, you do us far more harm than good. By deciding for us, what we want to hear and remember, you take away our chance to grieve their life. By deciding for us, you take away another piece of normality, and you take away the only joy we may allow ourselves to feel.

Don't tell me I don't want to hear his name because it will remind me, instead allow me to remember with smiles and tears and all the pain that is part of this process.

Your protection isn't needed, your memories are.

Saying his name is part of what heals me, makes me smile and gives me the gift of sweet memories. Saying his name teaches his children that he mattered in my life, your life, and more importantly in their little lives. Saying his name brings his light back to the world.

We all live, and we all die.

Every one of us should be remembered for the life we lived and laughter we brought to the people we loved.

Say their name and evolve your consciousness to accept the pain of loss and the joy of remembrance.

Say their name because it brings peace to the grieving and joy to the lives of everyone they touched.

Remember them. It's okay to hold them close forever.

They touched your life.

Saying their name touches mine.

Michelle

Michelle Steinke-Baumgard is an author, speaker, fitness coach, mother and remarried widow. After losing her husband Mitch in 2009 she turned to exercise as an outlet for grief and a way to handle stress. Michelle found it so powerful that she eventually quit her corporate job to become a fitness trainer. Since then Michelle has been featured in Fitness Magazine, Shape Magazine, Woman's Day Magazine, contributed to articles for Prevention Magazine, The Huffington Post, and countless other media outlets. In addition to her virtual training business, Michelle recently launched her own non-profit focused on helping widows and widowers complete bucket list dreams to honor their late spouse while moving boldly into their future.

Pick up a copy of Michelle's new book on presale, Healthy Healing, and learn how and why fitness matters during life's hardest moments.

http://www.onefitwidow.com/michelles-book

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